The brain is a complex organ that runs on neurotransmitters communicating between neurons. These neurotransmitters include glutamate and GABA. Ketones help keep the brain’s excitatory-inhibitory balance in check, which protects the brain from over-activity that can cause various disorders. They may also help prevent inflammation in the brain.
GABA, which stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an amino acid that affects mood and helps to regulate your brain’s response to stress. It can help to calm you down and improve your sleep. There are a few ways to increase your GABA levels, including supplements and herbs. You may also want to try Pruvit 10 day challenge. However, you should consult a medical professional before taking any supplement. Natural supplements that boost GABA function include kava, valerian, passionflower, skullcap, and lemon balm. Other herbs shown to improve your mood are green tea and L-theanine.
Decreased Excitatory Transmission
The brain teeters on balance between excitation and inhibition through two primary neurotransmitters, glutamate, and GABA. If neurons are over-excited, they can cause severe problems like strokes and seizures. To keep the brain running, the liver turns fatty acids in the diet into ketones (b-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone) that cross the blood-brain barrier and are converted into fuel by mitochondria. These ketones can replace glucose, which the brain cannot metabolize as effectively. Several studies have shown that ketones can decrease excitatory transmission in the brain. This is primarily due to increased KATP channel activity, which reduces neuronal firing rates.
Memory is an essential function of your brain. It stores bits and pieces of experiences in different areas, like the hippocampus, which catalogs memories from sight, sound, or smell—keeping your brain sharp means choosing a healthy diet, staying active, and not smoking. It also means checking blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Studies show that exercise stimulates the brain’s ability to maintain old network connections and make new ones. It also increases glucose metabolism — how quickly your brain turns glucose into fuel — which may prevent cognitive decline and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A randomized clinical trial involving 23 elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment showed that they performed better on verbal memory tests when given a ketogenic agent than those who received a placebo. These results suggest that the ketogenic agent may be a valuable treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
Stress can lead to many health issues, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. And it can have a negative impact on your brain, too. Stress causes the body to release hormones, such as cortisol. These are released as a “fight or flight” response, which causes your heart rate to increase and your senses to become heightened. When the stressful event is over, cortisol levels fall back to normal. But, when chronically elevated stress levels persist, they can lead to serious health problems. A diet low in sugar and healthy fats can decrease stress and boost brain health. This type of diet is called the ketogenic diet.
Alternative Fuel for the Brain
The brain requires a lot of energy and relies on glucose (sugar) to produce ATP, the primary fuel for all neuronal cellular processes. However, if glucose supply is reduced, as is familiar with age and certain conditions, the brain depends on alternative fuels such as ketone bodies. Ketones are an oxidizable fuel, which means they can be broken down into molecules that the brain can use for adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is an incredibly efficient form of energy that your neurons can use instead of glucose. In addition to providing your brain with a more powerful energy source than glucose, ketones are also anti-inflammatory. They help prevent inflammation in the brain, which can lead to cognitive issues.